Drawing birds – all media with Andrew Fitchett

Ref: SWE09347


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About this course

Discover how to plan and make an accurate, lively ornithological artwork. Learn about the anatomy and appearance of birds, as you develop your skills in your preferred media.

Course Description

This structured course guides you through the key techniques to create an accurate likeness, by working from observation using a range of taxidermy specimens.

You will begin by learning methods of measurement and observation, gaining first-hand experience of key techniques to make accurate images of the subject. You will learn about the physical shape and structure of birds and investigate techniques for recording plumage shape and colour. Working with materials of your choice you will experiment with colour and line quality to understand how this can enhance your work.

With a focus on individual development, the course is a series of tutored sessions that will include both group and individual exercises. There are short group reviews at key stages throughout. There is a strong emphasis on development and practice of technique to help enhance your creative, visual skills and exploration of style rather than working towards a single finished piece.

By the end of the course you will have gained essential knowledge of how to plan and approach the making of an ornithological artwork. You will also be able to use what you learn about the anatomy of birds to inform and improve your work and apply your experience of materials and techniques to further enhance and develop your general artistic skills.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of hiring a selection of taxidermy birds.
  • It also includes some paper and pencils shared amongst the group just for the first evening's drawing exercise only.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A wide selection of drawing media, papers, sketchbooks
  • A wide selection of paints if you wish to work in other media

Student Reviews

"Driving in through the gates always gives me such a sense of peace and tranquility and the knowledge that for a few days I need to concentrate on nothing more than the course for which I have come. As ever, i was not disappointed; Andrew was an inspiring tutor and he made the whole course interesting, informative and thoroughly enjoyable"

Angela 2019

"Excellent tutoring on the courses, providing the opportunity to develop skills and create art works within a relaxed, friendly and beautiful environment"

Sylvia 2019

"Advice as to how to plan drawings and opportunity to draw stuffed birds"

Susan 2019

"Enjoyable informative course with people with similar interests, really high quality tutoring, thoroughly enjoyable"

Cressida 2019

"Helpful tuition in a friendly positive atmosphere. I enjoyed the class so much and felt I'd achieved what I hoped for"

Val 2019

"The course was fun and it made a great break to be taken away from everyday life and to concentrate on one subject for an extended period of time. Most of the staff were very kind and helpful"

Tessa 2019


Andrew Fitchett

Andrew Fitchett is a practicing painter working in oils and West Dean tutor since 2006. Since his career in Advertising where he ran creative courses Andrew paints and teaches from his studio in East Sussex. Andrew's work is in private collections across Europe.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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